I am a lousy writer.
In fact, I'm a pretty lousy person altogether but that doesn't have anything to do with music. Or it has everything to do with music, I'm trying to not think about my life right now. I've been without a computer for the last 2 1/2 weeks, and without a computer i haven't been writing. Yeah, I check my e-mails occasionally and still do the MySpace thing, but the only reason I have a computer is to write and download music. I should just go and get a typewriter and all your addresses and just mail you my ramblings...
So, in case you missed me, I've missed you. And I've missed out on the following reviews: Minus The Bear's Interpretaciones Del Oso, Explosions In The Sky's All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, and Do Make Say Think's You, You're A History In Rust. And then there's this week's new reviews: Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, !!!'s Myth Takes and Air's Pocket Symphony.
That's six albums. But I feel that I'm overly prepared to review all of these, I've had two extra weeks with both Minus The Bear's remix album and the new Explosions In The Sky. So, here goes the most overdue:
Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence, released on 2/20/07)
Note to self: instrumentation is very important. If you can't play your instrument very well, you probably have a sucky band. Note to EITS: you all play your respective instruments very well, and you do not have a sucky band. It's pretty tough to review an instrumental album, like how does an artist choose either their canvases or clay or whatever their respective medium allows for? In this review, I prefer to paint a landscape with words because All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone paints a landscape with sounds. Using words to describe music is a terrible injustice, but then again, so is using words to describe anything that exhibits artisitc or creative skill. That being said, I just basically called myself a fraud- I'm living a lie by wanting to write about music.
But Explosions' latest endeavor negates my self-loathing and brings me back to why I love this brand of instrumental post-rock (see also: Mogwai, Gospeed! You Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, Pelican). Starting the album off with a dissonant drone, it settles into a piercing (and always theatric) heart-shaped guitar line that only Explosions In The Sky can get away with and not be guilty of being too ostentatious. It's a simultaneous attack of ferocious emotion and raw power and moments later a refined sincerity and collective restraint. Drawing you in with both soft bass and light drum play, building to a release with a burst of blinding energy, then coming at you from way over head with those high-pitched squeals of unbridled guitar-driven passion, there isn't a doubt in my mind that this band is the most capable and the heir apparent to the genre's throne.
Lacking what 2003's The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place had, which in my opinion is their masterpeice, All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone makes up for their last effort, 2005's The Rescue by returning some of that lost urgency. Beautiful in its own right, The Rescue seems as if it's a throw-away record because of its rootless foudations- just four guys jamming in a room over the course of 8 days. I like the concept, but it lacks focus. All Of A Sudden... has that focus, and maybe it's a good album because they needed to get The Rescue out of their system. Some bands' best work comes from that same unrestricted, hands-off type of jamming, you know who I'm talking about right here.
Not a jam band by any stretch of the imagination, album after album Explosions In The Sky sets out to create lovely music sans lyrics by enveloping you in the imagery of their world of bursting clouds, dying supernovas, crashing waves, gently rising suns, melting lava flows and the lost days of youth; those long summer days when you played and played and the sun didn't set until almost nine o'clock, when we had to finally go in for our nightly baths. This is music to read to, to write to, to paint to, to draw to, to fall in love to, to watch those sunsets to- all in hopes of capturing what you lost before you donned a cap and gown and took that crappy 9-to-5.
Overall rating: 92
So, here's what you can expect for the rest of the week-
Tomorrow: Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and Air's Pocket Symphony
Thursday: Minus The Bear's Interpretaciones Del Oso
Friday: !!!'s Myth Takes and Do Make Say Think's You, You're A History In Rust